Tetraspanins regulate key processes in immune cells; however, the function of the leukocyte-restricted tetraspanin CD53 is unknown. Here we show that CD53 is essential for lymphocyte recirculation. Lymph nodes of Cd53−/− mice were smaller than those of wild-type mice due to a marked reduction in B cells and a 50% decrease in T cells. This reduced cellularity reflected an inability of Cd53−/− B and T cells to efficiently home to lymph nodes, due to the near absence of L-selectin from Cd53−/− B cells and reduced stability of L-selectin on Cd53−/− T cells. Further analyses, including on human lymphocytes, showed that CD53 stabilizes L-selectin surface expression and may restrain L-selectin shedding via both ADAM17-dependent and ADAM17-independent mechanisms. The disruption in lymphocyte recirculation in Cd53−/− mice led to impaired immune responses dependent on antigen delivery to lymph nodes. Together these findings demonstrate an essential role for CD53 in lymphocyte trafficking and immunity.
- Immune Response
- Molecular Mechanism of Behavior
- Specialized Functions of Cells